Daf Yomi For Kids

It may be the ultimate father-son male bonding tool. Think of it as tossing around a glatt kosher football, but first having to make a brachah on the activity. Daf Yomi 4Kids allows children to share in their fathers’ participation in the immensely popular global learning protocol.

The brainchild of Rabbi Michael Fine, a mechanech in Ottowa, Daf Yomi 4 Kids is a full-color workbook issued once a month. Two pages are devoted to each daf. Typically, they will include some focus on a halacha, factoid, or anecdote from that page, presented in language entirely suited for kids. Additionally, several of the following will appear: simple review questions linked to the page; games related to the content; a new vocabulary word; some mussar point developed from the daf; an elaboration upon some concept touched upon by that day’s learning. It is wonderfully illustrated. page1_all

Is this yet another attempt to dumb down the learning of gemara? Will we next see “Bavli For Toddlers?” Hardly. Daf Yomi 4 Kids does not attempt to teach the daf. It does artfully seize upon the inclination of kids to emulate their dads, and to want to participate in something grown-up. Daf Yomi is so well embedded in Orthodox life, that tens of thousands of households understand it to be part of the family routine. Speakers at siyumim give well-deserved credit to all the family members who accommodate the need of the daf participant to absent himself from other family activities while he sequesters himself with a shiur, a chavrusah, or his solo study of the daf. Daf4Kids finds a way to involve younger boys (and in some families, to be sure, younger girls) themselves in the world of new ideas and concepts that rush by the adult daf-participant in the regular course of his learning. Without learning the daf, the child can taste some of the low-hanging fruit that accompany the richness and depth of any blatt gemara. It is a brilliant pedagogical realization, matched only by the painstaking excellence of Rabbi Fine’s execution of the concept.

Daf Yomi 4 Kids is available in both hard-copy and in downloadable pdf’s, with different pricing for the two options. Sample dapim and further information are available at the website.

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